David Thompson


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March 12, 2014





Owen Jones and Laurie Penny were unavailable for comment.

Nik White

I saw the message, knew immediately what Ms Browne meant, then did a double-take and realised you can read her sentences both ways:

SOCIALISM: Folk lined up waiting for bread [which may or may not still be there in the bakery at the far end of the line, if indeed there was any in the first place]

CAPITALISM: Bread lined up waiting for people [then it turns 7 am and they open their doors and the people start coming in for bagels, coffee, croissants etc.]


Yeah, I also took that CAPITALISM line as some sort of demand-side, must-prime-the-pump Keynesianism endorsement.


Owen Jones and Laurie Penny were unavailable for comment.

"This Tabitha Browne is clearly just a sock puppet for the Big Oil / Koch Brothers / racist Tea Party fascists, and is a traitor to all womynfolk."

Will that do for you, sk60 :D ?


Oh, I've got a whole collection of those on a Pinterest board, including translations for some.

If this is savage capitalism, then would this be savage socialism?

Compendium of rationing signs.

Scenes from the hospitals, where they perform surgery by the light of an iPhone after the electricity goes out, newborns are lain in boxes and laundry baskets, and the wounded languish on stretchers placed on trash cans.

Lucky for Venezuela, they share a border with Brazil, not Russia, and Brazil doesn't have designs on Venezuela. They might make it.



Thanks for those.


This just in, via Jim Treacher, "'Feminist studies' prof accused of physically assaulting 16-year-old girl for opposing abortion."

A department of feminist studies professor [at University of California Santa Barbara] has been accused of going berserk after coming across a campus prolife demonstration that used extremely graphic displays, leading a small mob of students to chant “tear down the sign” before grabbing one of the signs, storming off with it, then allegedly engaging in an altercation with a 16-year-old prolife protestor who had followed the educator to retrieve it.

Much of the scuffle was recorded on a smartphone by the 16-year-old, Thrin Short. The yet-to-be-released video is now in the custody of Santa Barbara law enforcement officials, who are investigating the March 4 incident.

The professor at the heart of the controversy is Mireille Miller-Young, an associate professor whose area of emphasis is black cultural studies, pornography and sex work, according to her faculty webpage.

Yeah, I'm as shocked as you are about that last.


newborns are lain in boxes and laundry baskets,

In Peru, Bolivia, Honduras, sure...but Venezuela? Shocking. Just as shocking as where those babies come from.

Sanity Inspector

Oh, that's definitely the Tweet of the day!


"Yeah, I'm as shocked as you are about that last."

Indeed. ;-)


From The Biggest Delinquent, Fidelito:

"In ten years we'll have a higher standard of living than the United States." "We'll convert Cuba into the most prosperous nation in the Americas. Cuba will achieve the highest standard of living of any country in the world, because while the Super Powers have to invest a huge percentage of their energies in creating weapons, we're going to invest everything in producing wealth, in building schools, in developing the immense riches that we have in our marvelous land, which, besides being rich, is the most beautiful." Fidel Castro, 1962.
So how's that going for ya, Cuba?


No, I just took it as Socialism = shortages, Capitalism = surplus.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Off topic, but there's a fun little story in the Guardian about Russell Crowe's new film "Noah".

It's based on the Bible story about that time God got upset and decided to drowninate mankind. Except it's a Russell Crowe film, so it includes drinkin' and fightin' round the world. Hopefully including a scene where Russell punches out an ungrateful llama that didn't listen to his poetry.

Anyway, "Noah" hasn't been released yet, but it already looks like the only animal they need to sum up its box office appeal is a CGI turkey.

Desperate to find an audience and cash in on that sweet "Passion" moolah, Paramount hastily re-edited the film to include a Christian rock song and extended religious narrative, but Christian test audiences hated it, possibly because they're not the mouth-breathing rubes Paramount executives took them for.

The director, Darren Aronofsky of wrist-slittingly depressing "Reqiuem for a Dream" fame, was unhappy with the studio trying to put a Christian spin on his Bible story. He has a different eschatological religion in mind, which he says is:

"a huge [environmental] statement … about the coming flood from global warming".

Seemingly unconcerned about the coming flood from global warming, Mr Aronofsky and his movie star colleagues are currently travelling round the world to promote their film. Probably not in a covered boat made of gopherwood.



Don't know why but this reminds me of a historical socialist experiment in european unity.


@ Steve 2: Steveageddon
Greenism is a religion.

It's got the "eden myth" and the apocalypse pretty sewn up, oh and a host of dodgy prophits (sic).


In other news... ‘Don’t call me a Marxist,’ says self-described Marxist.


I can't work out whether some commenters get it, but it seems pretty clear to me that the woman who tweeted that is anti-Socialism.

Look at her twitter feed, what she retweets and who she follows.

It's a very good point, too.

The left will claim that it's a crime that bread sits on shelves while people starve... except that people aren't starving, they're all as fat as houses.


Also... You will report for re-education by experts. Can you feel how much they care?


Oh, David. @13.02.

The 'economist' says: "I call myself a Marxist because my research is grounded in Marx’s understanding of class dynamics and oppression in capitalism, something which is invisibilized by mainstream, neoclassical economic theory."

'invisibilized'. One of those lovely post-modern (made-up) words.

Meaning, proper economists tell me that my theories are full of shit and prove they are demonstrably wrong so I made up a word that says they are wrong.



Well, I suppose the point is that in Professor Matthaei’s academic circle - where the term “Marxist-feminist-anti-racist-ecological-economist” isn’t laughed at as it should be - the word “Marxist” still has a certain, rather baffling credibility and implies something like “hardcore” or “very political.” Whereas to those outside her immediate circle it says something quite different. Like “credulous and dogmatic,” or “unmoored from reality.” And hence the dissonance.

Spiny Norman


Hopefully including a scene where Russell punches out an ungrateful llama that didn't listen to his poetry.

Is Russell Crowe "Noah" poetry as bad as Vogon poetry? o_O

He has a different eschatological religion in mind, which he says is:

"a huge [environmental] statement … about the coming flood from global warming".

Been there, done that. If you haven't seen Kevin Costner's dreadful box-office shipwreck Waterworld, I'm sure you've heard of it.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

AC1 - Yes. Greenieism and its hysterical exhortations to uncritically submit to "The Science" increasingly resembles another obnoxious cult based on science fiction that also attracts a lot of wealthy celebrities. I'd love to see their followers duke it out in a "Battle Royale" / "Hunger Games" scenario to answer the age-old question of who'd win a fight between Tom Cruise and Al Gore.

The answer is that we all would. But they'd probably just agree to merge into The Church of Climate Scientology and wage holy jihad on our freedoms and wallets in the name of stopping Lord Xenu from drowning the cuddly polar bears.

Spiny Norman - I'd never seen "Waterworld" till recently when my wife was in bed with the flu and me, the baby, and the cat were at a loose end.

Flicking through the Freeview channels, I came across "Waterworld" on ITV2+1×3 or some such, and said "hey gang, why don't we watch Waterworld?"

The Wee Baby Steve goggled at me and drooled while Cheetara, Destroyer of Bumblebees, as she prefers to be known, imperiously turned her head and continued licking her fluffy leg, so I took that as general assent to my plan and settled down to watch Kevin Costner's opus.

It was quite possibly the greatest movie never seen on "Mystery Science Theater 3000".

I especially liked how the baddies were called "smokers" and - because the script is clever like that - were always smoking! Not since the cunningly named 'shitweasel' emerged from a toilet bowl in Stephen King's crazy vicodin-inspired "Dreamcatcher" have I been so delighted to get the point.

I laughed, I gasped, I thrilled at the adventure. When Kevin sailed away in his little boat at the end and the girl was like "come back, Shane!", I cried salty, manly tears. As the credits rolled I prayed they would promise "We'll Be Back" like in the wonderful "Mac and Me" but it was not to be.

Irascible antipodean warrior-poet Russell Crowe should be so lucky as to evoke the stoic, heroic, mildly constipated performance Mr Costner treated us to in "Waterworld". I gave it Leonard Maltin's two-and-a-half stars.


I gave it Leonard Maltin's two-and-a-half stars.

Also given to Laserblast, which all MSTies know.

Nik White

I can't work out whether some commenters get it …

One of them was definitely me – I'd just put down a chapter of a book about which described how some people believe large companies undercut smaller ones to put them out of business, after which they then put up the prices to unreasonably high levels knowing that consumers will have no option but to choose their product/service.

The left will claim that it's a crime that bread sits on shelves while people starve

And yes, as a consequence, that was the sense in which I double-took on Ms Browne's meaning.

It was a long day. Or I'm thick. You’re welcome to take your pick.


Ahhh but under ideal socialism everyone waits in line (in principle, at least), while under capitalism the elite have so much un-deserved resources that the can afford organic bread made by artisanal elves, while the proles have to eat mass-produced GMO dreck.

Of course, under real socialism the proles will be raising the organic wheat and quinoa by hand, without using any nasty petrochemicals or anything else that offends progressive sensitivities, and eat bread made from the chaff, while the "smart people" eat whatever they want, which comes from commissaries where only they ( the "smart people") are allowed.

What we need to do is start all over again, and impose ideal socialism everywhere, all at once, with no exceptions that could distract anyone from working towards the progressive paradise.

Yeah, sure...


Nik - I can't say whether you're thick or not, but as I said: 'Look at her twitter feed, what she retweets and who she follows.'

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